Today’s prompt is to write about three songs that are important to you, and I’m really struggling with it. There are so many songs that are important to me, and the songs that speak to me at one point in time are different to the songs that speak to me now.
I remember when I living in Thomastown, I would have been 22 or 23 I suppose, and I used to get terrible bouts of depression. One of the things I found that really helped, sometimes, was to really just indulge in the feeling. I would turn the lights out in my room and lie on my bed in the dark listening to Muse and Nine Inch Nails and crying. It was a release.
Music has always played an important part in my life. I remember the music that my partners and friends exposed me to; Sean and Slayer, Kelly with his numetal and trance music, Damien who introduced me to NIN and Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, Wade, gorgeous Wade, who introduced me to so many fantastic artists and bands, and who had an amazing knowledge of all of them, even now I can recount some of his interesting tidbits when a song comes on the golden oldies station in he car. Wade was the one who opened the door to Leonard Cohen, and made me see the beauty in his version of Hallelujah. He showed me Johnny Cash, and Nick Cave, and The Angels (vale Doc), and so many more. Richard who lent me the entire discography of Pink Floyd. Aaron who showed me the genius of Dolly Parton and Elvis. And Paul for Die Antwoord. And Louise, the best poet I know, who shared Radiohead and PJ Harvey with me. And Jonathan and Gabrielle for Queens of the Stone Age, and Serge Gainsbourg, and The Cramps. And Simon and Kat for The Nymphs and The Bluebottles. I could go through almost my entire collection and tell you who each artist/band came from.
There’s something about the relationship between who shared the music with you and how you feel about that artist/band. Something more powerful than the music itself sometimes. An almost magical force that ties you together, the sense memory of the good times and a feeling of knowing the musicians because of how well you know the people who first experienced it with you.
For me, I could never pick just three songs. I could never say it’s ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’, and ‘The Perfect Drug’ and ‘Creep’. Because it’s Johnny Cash singing ‘Hurt’ and it’s Nirvana singing ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ and it’s PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke crying over Nick Cave, and it’s Skrillex dropping the bass, and it’s Michael Bublé making my knees tremble, and Tom Waits’ grumbling, and so many more.
And that’s not even counting the classical music that I played for years when I was in orchestras and bands, through high school and uni. It’s the solo in Scheherazade that I never got right. Or the operas that I see with Mum every year. Or the emotional roller-coaster ride of a great film score. And it’s fucking around with a bass guitar in my bedroom when no one is home.
Someone asked me once what song would I want to have in my head for the rest of my life. It was in highschool, probably 1999 or 2000, and I was obsessed with Marilyn Manson. I said ‘The Man That You Fear’. If you asked me today, I couldn’t tell you.
Music is mood, and music is meditation, and music is motivation, and music gives meaning to life. And that’s why I can’t tell you three songs that are the most important to me.